Prior to being. Above essence. Here is a thirty minute lecture with Prof. Philip Cary on Plotinus, Neoplatonism, and the unity of all things. First is a diagram I made while listening of Plotinus' cosmology:
In the center is the One, beyond distinctions, the source of all existence, shining like the sun. Around it is the Divine Mind (Nous), which is suffused with the light of the One. It is perfect in its intelligence and is unmoved and unchanging. Beyond this is the Soul. When turned in, to take part in the perfection of the Divine Mind, it is the one World Soul. When turned out it takes on the multiplicity of every individual soul. Beyond this is the world of matter and seperation, suffering, desire, and death. The soul looks out and falsly identifies with images in the physical world. Everything is created as an outflowing of the One, its superabundance, although it is not actually doing anything. The rays of the One become more and more diffuse the farther out one goes, and the more imperfect and fragmented things become.
Here is another 30 minute lecture, also by Prof. Cary, that gets into Plotinus' spirituality. I think it is actually better than the first.